Oh, Lord, people. You know how, in Word, if you need to have a single quotation mark next to a regular quotation mark–say I have a sentence that says
Jill said, “John said, ‘You suck a bag of dicks.'”
–you have a good chance of one of those last punctuation marks facing the wrong way? Well, I had this brilliant idea to fix it. I would search for “‘ and replace it with ” ‘ and ‘” and replace it with ‘ ” and then I’d search and replace in the opposite direction and voila! Curly quotes all in the right direction.
To put it mildly.
Now, instead of having an occasional wrong directed single or regular quotation mark, they are all randomly fucked. So, I’m having to just fix them by hand.
And the best fun? (And by “best fun” I totally mean the worst fun ever!)
Word has decided that any two words it recognizes on either side of an apostrophe, like if I wrote douche’bag? It’s not going to underline that as being fucked in some way. And yet, I’m afraid to do a general search and replace and just add a space after every ‘ because then I’ll fuck all of my genuine contractions.
But otherwise, it’s going fine.
Word was created by evil geniuses intent on bringing unhappiness and anti-productivity to the world. The same people who brought us Windows Vista and the Zune.
You can change the smart quotes to straight quotes. Here are instructions:
If you are sending this manuscript off to a publisher, that’s what they are going to do anyway.
You could maybe change the default to straight quotes in Word, then copy and paste your file into a new document, and see what that would do.
David, I swear, it’s as if Word is specifically designed to ruin your writing at the last possible moment.
JCC I hope you’re right. I’m going to feel a lot better about sending it out if I know someone is going to go behind and clean up after that mess. Though I think I got everything.
Knock on wood.